Muslims sometimes allege that The Bible became corrupted at the Council Of Nicea in 325 AD. The Council Of Nicea was an important Council of Church leaders held in what is now the Turkish city Iznik. Here is an example of a Muslim who thinks The Bible was corrupted At Nicea.
Sometimes Muslims specify that it was wicked Romans, specifically Emperor Constantine who corrupted The Bible at this Council.
The Bible Was Not Discussed At Nicea
The Council Of Nicea did not corrupt The Bible. In fact, The Canon (i.e. list of accepted books) of The Bible was not even discussed at Nicea. The main purpose of Nicea was to define exactly what is meant by Jesus being called Son Of God.
Since The Canon was not discussed at this Council, it is impossible that this Council corrupted The Bible. You can find an overview of the proceedings of the Council Of Nicea here. The Canon was not altered by The Council Of Nicea. All Bishops that attended the conference used the same Bible that we have today, whether or not they supported the position that Jesus is God or whether they thought Jesus was not God.
Bibles Before Nicea Same As Those After Nicea
We have about sixty Bible manuscripts which predate The Council Of Nicea. These ancient manuscripts all support the current Bible. We also have accounts of the proceedings of The Council Of Nicea which tells us what was said and done. These proves that The Council Of Nicea did not change The Bible.
Anti-Nicean Bishops Believed Jesus Is The Son Of God
At Nicea there were two groups of Bishops. Both groups believed that Jesus Is The Son Of God. The heretical group, however, believed that The Son was created.
The heretical Christian leader, Arius, was the leader of those who believed that Jesus is a created being. We have letters written by Arius to other church leaders and to the Emperor Constantine. Here is an extract from one of those letters. It clearly states that Arius believed that Jesus is The Son Of God and that Jesus is Divine. Arius wrote to the Emperor Constantine saying this:
We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, and in His Son the Lord Jesus Christ, who was begotten from Him before all ages, God the Word, by whom all things were made, whether things in heaven or on earth; He came and took upon Him flesh, suffered and rose again, and ascended into heaven…
Arius plainly states that he believes that Jesus is The Son Of God, Creator and Divine.
This means that all Christians, even those those disagreed with the decisions of Nicea, agreed that Jesus is The Son of God before The Council Of Nicea. This means that Nicea did not create the formulation that Jesus is The Son Of God and that The Bible was not altered at Nicea.
Arius and the heretical Bishops all believed that Jesus is The Son Of God and that Jesus was Divine. They believed this before Nicea. Where Arius and his followers disagreed with Orthodox Christians was that Arius believed that Jesus Himself was created. Arius believed that Jesus was created by The Father as a Divine creation before time began. Here is a further letter written by Arius to a Church leader named Eusebius. This letter was written in 319 AD, six years before Nicea.
we say and believe …that the Son is not unbegotten; and that He does not derive his subsistence from any matter; but that by His own will and counsel He has subsisted before time, and before ages, as perfect God, only begotten and unchangeable, and that before He was begotten, or created, or purposed, or established, He was not. For He was not unbegotten…
we say that the Son has a beginning, but that God is without beginning…And this we say, because He is neither part of God, nor of any essential being
Anti-Nicene Beliefs Unacceptable To Muslims
So we see that the heretical Bishops, led by Arius, had a strange combination of beliefs. They believed that Jesus is The Son Of God, that Jesus is Divine, that Jesus is the God of all humanity, that Jesus existed before time began and that there is a Trinity of Divine beings, but that nevertheless Jesus is a created being. The Anti-Nicene Bishop Ulfilas expressed his belief that Jesus is a created God like so
I believe in only one God the Father, the unbegotten and invisible, and in his only-begotten son, our Lord/Master and God, the designer and maker of all creation, having none other like him. Therefore, there is one God of all, who is also God of our God;
Arius wrote in his work Thalia
Certainly there is a Trinity .. and they possess glories of different levels
This combination of beliefs is obviously completely unacceptable to Muslims and opposed to the teaching of The Qu’ran. This is unfortunate for Muslims who like to believe that Christianity was identical to Islam until corrupted by Constantine at the Council Of Nicea and who like to see Arius as a kind of Islamic hero of original ‘Islamic’ Christianity.
As can be plainly seen the beliefs of Arius and the Anti-Nicene Bishops are completely non-Islamic.
Anti-Nicene Bishops Used The Same Bible As Everyone Else
The Bishops that opposed the decisions of The Council Of Nicea used the same Bible as everyone else. The Anti-Nicene Bishop Ulfilas quoted from Luke and Acts. Another Arian, Maximinus quoted from Matthew, Luke and 2 Timothy. By inspection of his letters we can see that Arius quoted Scripture from Psalms, John, Proverbs, 1 Timothy, Romans, Mark, Colossians, Deuteronomy, Phillippians as well as numerous other books in The Bible.
From the writings of the Anti-Nicene leaders we can see that they used the same Bible as everyone else. This is proof that Nicea did not change The Bible to remove or invent scripture to support the teaching that Jesus is equally God with The Father, co-equal and co-eternal.
Son Of God
The fact that The Council Of Nicea was called to discuss what is meant by Jesus being the Son Of God proves that the Bible of pre-Nicea and pre-Islamic times said that Jesus was the Son Of God. Obviously, this means that The Bible contained the assertion that Jesus is The Son Of God prior to Nicea and that the Council Of Nicea did not invent this title for Jesus.
So, the Council Of Nicea was essentially a debate over what was meant by Jesus being called The Son Of God. The heretical Bishop Arius, who believed that Jesus was NOT God, but a unique kind of semi-divine, half-angel / half-God creation, the first thing that God created when he created the universe, used the same gospels and epistles (the ones that are in the Bible now) to argue his case. The two sides did not disagree on what the scriptural documents stated, nor did they disagree on which documents should be ‘in’ the Bible. They disagreed, with heated debate, merely on the interpretation of these same scriptures.
Romans Tortured And Killed The Christians
In fact, many of the Church leaders present at the Council of Nicea had been tortured by The Roman Emperors for their belief that Jesus is God. They attended with eyes gouged out, fingers hacked off, horrific scarring from being whipped to the point of death and with the muscles of their legs cut through so they could not walk properly. Of course, many many other Bishops and leaders had been killed by the Romans for believing and teaching that Jesus is God. They and the early Church had all believed Jesus that Jesus is God well before Nicea.
If Romans corrupted The Bible to say that Jesus is God, as believed by some Muslims, then why would Romans torture and kill church leaders for saying that Jesus is God, in agreement with the false Bible that they supposedly created ? It is completely illogical to things that Romans would torture and kill people for believing in things they the Romans were forcing people to believe. So we see that the Muslim accusations are in ignorance of history and logic.
The subject matter of the Council Of Nicea proves that the early church believed that Jesus is The Son Of God and that The Bible said that Jesus is The Son Of God centuries before Islam and Nicea arrived.
The Council of Nicea did not invent or state anything new about Jesus. It merely affirmed those truths about Jesus already held by Christians since the time of Jesus and his companions. Specifically, Nicea did not discard or select Gospels or in any way modify the Bible, nor did the Council even discuss The Bible.
Constantine Forced His Personal Opinions Into The Bible
Muslims sometimes assert that The Emporer Constantine, who presided at The Council Of Nicea, forced his personal belief that Jesus is God on to the church, and therefore claim that the belief that Jesus is God was created by a corrupt Christian Roman Caliph.
This assertion is untrue.
In fact, Constantine wavered between views and for the most part of his reign after Nicea favoured the view that Jesus was not God. Constantine died in 337 AD and his successor Constantine II was firmly opposed to the idea that Jesus is God. This Emperor was an opponent of the doctrinal decisions of Nicea and persecuted the leading Nicean Bishop, Athanasius, driving him into exile.
The next Emperor after Constantine II, Emperor Valens, was also opposed to the doctrines of Nicea. He also did not believe that Jesus is God.
Therefore the view that Jesus is God has always been believed by God’s people even under hostility, persecution and penalty of death from the most powerful Roman Caliphs for the first 300 years after Jesus and despite rejection or ambivalence of this view from Emperor Constantine and his two next successors for the next fifty years following The Council Of Nicea
You can find some more information about Nicea here.